Tucker Poshard of the ’25 cohort spent much of his time in high school on the Illinois State Board of Education Student Advisory Council.
Tucker applied for a position on the council as a sophomore and joined in his junior year. He was drawn to the advisory council because of the importance of diversity and inclusion. “Having attended a diverse school in an area where many others around it were not diverse, I knew the importance of understanding others with different backgrounds. I saw a need to promote the teaching of inclusivity and empathy at the state level and wanted to combat the racial divide and the cultural divide between rural and urban areas.”
The Student Advisory Council works directly with State Board policy-makers to give a student perspective on education policy. Members of the council work on research projects throughout the school year and annually present their findings to the Board. While on the council, Tucker contributed to the formation of curriculum that benefited students across the state of Illinois. Tucker advised the Diverse and Learner Ready Teacher Initiative, which was tasked with rewriting policy and standards to be inclusive of students of all ethnicities and backgrounds. He helped edit and finalize the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards and Social Science Curriculum Standards, which aim to close gaps in student achievement by emphasizing equity and inclusion in the classroom. He was also part of the Remote Instructional Workgroup along with teachers and administrators from across Illinois working to develop new teaching guidelines and learning recommendations for Illinois schools in response to COVID-19.
Tucker says that much of his community service in high school stemmed from his work with the Illinois State Board of Education. Through his time with the Student Advisory Council, Tucker learned about the importance of collaboration in developing educational policies. He says, “I learned that while policymaking is something I truly enjoy, only through working together can we ensure a brighter future.”
Aside from his work with the Illinois State Board of Education, Tucker was involved in many other activities at his high school. He was the president of his class in his junior year and a saxophonist in his school's jazz band. He is an avid runner who was All-State in both Track & Field and Cross Country his senior year. He now plans to continue his running career competing for the Tulane Track & Field and Cross Country programs.